Playoffs Part 1 of (hopefully) 3

Would have preferred a draw but will take 2-1. Defensively we were rather shaky but still went into half-time goalless. Was difficult to get a real atmosphere going without a roof and many songs were being sung in tandem although my wife told me that Charlton could be heard on tv.

Swindon played some good football and eventually the goals came for them but the turning point was Deon's excellently well taken goal ... suddenly Swindon stopped playing footbll and started to hoof the ball everywhere. This is obviously the other side of Swindon and the reason whey they only finished 5th ... good team but when the pressure gets to them they play a completely different, more ineffective, style of football. We were very unlucky with Nicky's attempt and the game could have been so different if that had gone in. Swindon did finally revert to a good playing style and were unlucky not to score near the end ... I couldn't see the incident properly but my wife tells me it went off the post.

The big plus for me is that listening to the Swindon fans outside the ground after the game, they feel that they have done it ... very confident and sure they will get to Wembley. Good, let them feel that way and hopefully the complacency will spread through the club. Danny Wilson has played the 'underdog' game very well and kept their feet on the ground ... maybe this will undo them.

I beleve we have enough to turn this around at the Valley ... but am so bloody nervous that the next 60 hours are not going to be much fun.


Read Users' Comments ( 0 )

No bottle

First half, fairly evenly matched although we didn't really have a clear cut chance, but possibly more possession ... then conceded a very poor goal.

Second half ... nothing ... virtually every time the fans come out in force for Charlton, they let us down ... badly.

So depressing.

Oh bolox!

Read Users' Comments ( 1 )

We won

We won ... but apart from the first 10 minutes there was not much else to say. After the 2nd goal went in I turned and said to my son, perhaps we can at last put some pressure on the teams around us and really go for it in this game and show them how up for it we are. He just smiled and replied that I should remember who I am watching ... unfortunately he was proved right.

Why can't we kill off other teams? There were even times during the 2nd half when we could have paid heavily for not scoring a third goal ... admittedly we should have had a penalty in the first half, but it's astonishing how we fail to take advantage of our possession. Wayward kicks towards the goal ... which are far from being on target ... make a mockery of the fact that these guys are professional footballers. Mooney, Bailey, Burton, Sam, Sodje et al were guilty of some awful shots.

We won ... so I am happy ... but definitely frustrated. We will need to step up a gear next week at the New Den. Stockport are one of the weakest ... if not the weakest ... teams I have seen all season and that will not be the case next week. Millwall have players that fight for results, and our players will need to be the same. I have no doubt that we can, as has been evident in some games this season, and must admit that I am thoroughly looking forward to the game.

Results definitely went our way in general yesterday with Huddersfield and Swindon losing. Brentford taking a point at Leeds was massive and it was just a pity that they could not hold on to their lead ... but we are catching Leeds and the home game against them may yet prove to be pivotal.

Elliott - one very nervous moment when he dropped the ball, and he and Llera were definitely at odds both blaming each other for the incident.
Richardson - competent, but sometimes played the ball too far and lost it.
Jackson - good game and linked up well with Reid ... hope the injury is not too bad and he is ok for Millwall.
Llera - strong in defence, but a few errors.
Dailly -excellent game, getting back to being Mr. Consistent.
Sam - not his best game and rightfully taken off, drifted in far too much.
Racon - at times he was great, and others he was woeful. Will the real Therry Racon please stand up.
Bailey - fairly good game, cut off a few attacks, but not at his best.
Reid - man of the match, he is so strong and effective, breaking up attacks from opposition and then leading our own.
Mooney - Still proving to be lightweight, but there are instances when you know he can produce something.
Sodje - scored for the 3rd consecutive game so I should be positive ... but I still feel his overall game should improve ... but what the heck, if he scores again next week, who cares ;-)
Solly - ok, nothing special, but he is being played out of position so I should be generous.
Wagstaff - was hoping for something special when he came on but he can't do it every time.
Burton - worried Stockport at times.

Mark Kinsella had it right in his press interview: "We got lucky with the first and got a good second goal, but it was all about winning the game. We started brightly and got the goals but they upped their game. It would have been nice to get a couple more but it wasn't to be. There will be ups and downs between now and the end of the season, we've got to make sure there are more ups than downs. Winning when you're not at your best is the sign of a good team.”

And Millwall is now sold out, 2,500 tickets. Well done Charlton ... cannot wait to be at the New Den on Saturday.

Read Users' Comments ( 3 )

Red Dread

Due to a number of overseas business trips in Asia and Europe plus a 2 week holiday, I have not managed to get to the Valley for a few weeks ... and during that time we drew four times, lost once, and dropped out of automatic promotion for the first time ... a fact that filled a lot of Charlton fans with dread ... which prompted me to include a picture that I took of the wonderful Red Dread catamaran whilst on holiday.

But never fear... I returned yesterday and we won ;-)
Having read a number of web reports on recent games and seeing the Bristol game on TV, it would appear that this was a big improvement on our latest form.
It certainly wasn't perfect ... and at two nil up when we should have been full of confidence and cruising to a win ... the team was still nervy, which definitely got through to the supporters.
Showing the latest results on the scoreboard near to the end of the game was a masterstroke on this occasion as ... for once ... the results were all more or less going our way and the Covered End responded appropriately.
And whilst I remember, the Covered End produced one of the funniest chants I have heard for a long time after one of the Yeovil players went down poleaxed by the ball and didn't get up for ages prior to looking down his shorts to see if everything was still there ... 'One ball, you've only got one ball ...'. OK, perhaps you had to be there and it certainly wasn't funny for the Yeovil player but it made me laugh.
I haven't seen the match stats but have to assume that we had the higher percentage of possession ... in fact there were times when we managed to revert to the tight passing game that was so evident earlier in the season and caused so many teams problems.
I said to my son before the game that Reid would be playing and I was convinced he would score ... pity I didn't extend that to having a bet ... what a great goal and I hope it encourages more Charlton players to have a go from outside the area ... it can be a sign of confidence when players are willing to shoot from long distance (although some of Nicky's attempts would have been more appropriate on a rugby pitch) so more of the same please.
Reid looks like he will be a good player for us, strong, pacy, and not short of some skill. Ditto for debutant Johnnie Jackson ... you would have thought that he had played for this team a number of times so easily did he slot in. A good loan deal by Parky.
Racon has concerned me for a while, and has not put in the performances we saw at the start of the season ... but yesterday was a return to form, highlighted by a masterly quick turn from a throw-in that led directly to Mooney's goal. Perhaps Therry's first goal on Monday did him even more good than we realised.
And before going on to individual comments I must specifically mention Robbie ... at least three great saves in the first half and more good effort in the 2nd half ... if an early goal had gone in this could have been a very different game, so well done Robbie.
Elliot - very important saves and seems to be very confident these days.
Richardson - can be a threatening force when supporting runs up the wing.
Jackson - impressive debut, and could be very important to the team until Kelly returns.
Llera - always gives everything, and had a good game.
Dailly - not back to the form he displayed before injury when he was Mr. Consistent, but I'd rather be with him than without.
Sam - I felt that the commentators at the Bristol game were over-the-top about his display on Monday, but today better warranted the praise. Not scared to get stuck in but he does seem to tire late in the game.
Bailey - he would be the first to admit this was not one of his best displays, but still did enough to worry Yeovil.
Racon - a welcome return to form, and could have been my man of the match.
Reid - my first live sighting of Reid and I am impressed ... so sorry Therry, on reflection Kyel Reid wins man of the match.
Mooney - impressed that he was back after a nasty knock on Monday, did excellently with the goal and worked very hard, but I still have a small concern that he is too lightweight at times when it matters.
Burton - a better performance and wins a lot in the air. Have to assume that his hernia means he is not 100% but we cannot afford to let him have the op until season end.
Wagstaff - lively as always, but not the immediate impact he has had in the past.
Semedo - made a good impression in only a short time on the pitch.
Parky made all the right noises after the game stating that it was a good day for us, and that the intention was to get our performance levels back, forget about everyone else and concentrate on what we needed to do. He admitted that in the last few weeks, we've been giving the ball away cheaply and been constantly under pressure.
So on to Tuesday ... good to know we have another game so soon. The Brighton team has been quite an enigma since Poyet took over ... some wonderful results countered by a lot of poor games. They may still be at the bottom part of the table but as yesterday showed, do not relax around this team ... they have the capability to spring surprises.
And then Southend on Friday ... I can't go but my son will be there with the other 2k+ Charlton fans. I have good memories of Friday nights at Southend in the past so hope we can continue to pick up points. The table could look very different next weekend if all goes the way we would like.
Then with what we would hope would be a relatively comfortable 3 points against Stockport at home the following week (ok, it's never comfortable for us but you know what I mean), it's on to the game I have been looking forward to all season, Millwall at the New Den. I got my tickets as soon as they came out, and it will be my son's first visit to Millwall ... we should have a reasonable presence at the game and I hope Charlton fans remember this is our only true derby and attend in numbers.
C'mon you Reds!
Just noticed on the official site ... apparently when we play Gillingham at home next month, it will be the first time in 30 years! How times have changed ... when I was younger we played them far more frequently!

Read Users' Comments ( 1 )